Fort Leavenworth officially has a new military prison.

Fort Leavenworth officially has a new military prison.

Officials celebrated the opening of the new Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility Tuesday with a ribbon cutting. Officials also dedicated the road leading to the JRCF in honor of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan and activated the 15th Military Police Brigade.

The brigade is responsible for the new JRCF and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks.

Located near the USDB, the new JRCF is 464-bed minimum and medium custody facility. It will house inmates with sentences of five years or less. It also will house people who are awaiting trial.

“It’s a modern, state-of-the art facility,” Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton said after the brigade activation ceremony.

She is the commander of the JRCF and the 705th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion.

Inmates are expected to arrive at the new facility in early October.

The JRCF was created as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision to close three correctional facilities at Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Sill, Okla., and Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Hilton said the JRCF is a 250,000 square-foot facility on a 40-acre compound.

She said the new prison has a geothermal heating and cooling system.

“We are a very, very energy efficient facility,” she said.

The new prison is part of what is being called the Military Correctional Complex at Fort Leavenworth which includes the USDB and a trusty unit.

The road leading to the new prison has been named for Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr.

Sabalu, who served in the 705 MP Battalion, died May 6, 2007, in Afghanistan.
He was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood at the time, according to a news release from Fort Leavenworth.

Taking the place of the Army Corrections Brigade, the 15th MP Brigade includes the 705th MP Battalion and 40th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion.

The 15th MP Brigade was first activated in 1965. It was the first military police brigade activated in the U.S. Army. It was inactivated in 1976, according to information provided when the brigade was reactivated Tuesday.